We interrupt this regularly scheduled blog post to bring you an important news bulletin: Winter is Coming!!!

Well, thanks, you say, kinda figured that but, wait, I say, listen to our current (and extremely local*) forecast. Remember last winter? Cold? Snowy? Well, get ready for More Of The Same!!!

All right, so I don’t have any fancy-schmancy computer models or even a Radio Shack rain gauge but I do have one key indicator that guides my predictive thinking: Ducks. That’s right, our waterfowl. My birds know they need to pack on the padding if they’re going to run Ol’ Man Winter’s gauntlet so starting sometime in September or October, their dietary needs begin to change.  The first year we had them, I didn’t notice anything in particular but the next season, wow.   As I describe in my story for Backyard Poultry Magazine (Oct/Nov ’14), last year we saw our girls go from summer svelte to winter waddle in record time.

I think they just broke the record.

Puff & Co. look like they’ve doubled in width since Labor Day when only two weeks ago they were still bikini-ready. Since then, they’ve been digging up the lawn, extracting bugs and even eschewing regular feed in their haste to protein-load on crawly critters.  Recently, my daughter and I implemented a Wednesday Weigh-in to see if we could (semi)scientifically track the waterfowl winterization process.  But we might have waited too long; the bulk of their gain may already be behind them.**

Oh, and, by the way, I *do not* recommend trying to stay warm, duck-style. For one, it’s probably not a good idea to put on pounds instead of pulling on a parka. And two, you’d have to eat whole a lot of insects to gain that much body fat.

Unless we’re talking gummy worms, of course.






*Our backyard.

**But enough about me.

Copyright 2014, Lori Fontanes